List of Costly Licenses You Need to Set Up a Business in Nairobi

Restaurant in the US
Restaurant in the US

Entrepreneurs across the country dream of setting up a business in the capital. This however is not an easy undertaking as the cost of setting up can be a major bottleneck.

Starting with the list of licenses that one is expected to get from the authorities, that cost upwards of 100,000 shillings.

The long list of licenses for instance will include a single business permit, in which a business with 5 or less employees, which will set you back around Ksh15,200 for those with five employees with the application fees capped at Ksh200. This is besides another Ksh11,000 charged for the company’s registration.

An entrepreneur who may want to open a restaurant for instance will part with not less than Ksh130, 000 on licenses alone.

An undated image of Pepino's restaurant in Nairobi CBD
An undated image of Pepino's restaurant in Nairobi CBD
The Standard

Among the licenses they will pay for besides the single business permit include, a food and hygiene license, a safety certificate as well as a medical certificate whose cost will be determined by the number of employees. Additionally, they will be required to get a compliance certificate from the Ministry of Health.

For those who may want to sell liquor at their establishment, the cost will go up starting with a simple liquor license of Ksh6,000.  For those whose premises will operate as a bar and restaurant will have to part with Ksh30,000. Bar together with wines and spirits will cost you Ksh50,000 in licenses.

Proprietors whose establishment close past 11 pm are further expected to purchase a liquor license that will cost them upwards of Ksh130,000

This coming as MSMEs continue to raise their concerns over the high cost of doing business in the country noting that all the red tapes put in place have become enablers of graft in the country.

Data seen by indicates that more than 6000 companies have shut down since 2017 owing to the frustration they have faced in the country.

According to an economic analyst Francis Kamau, “For you to invest in Kenya, you have to go through so many hands to basically allow you get the right piece of land, get the right approvals, etc,”

These revelations contradict the government's claim that the country has improved in raking on the ease of doing business index globally, making the improvement inconsequential to the economy.

Kenya was expected to reach 58 by the end of 2020, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations.

 In the long-term, the ease of doing business in Kenya is projected to trend around 60.00 in 2021 and 80.00 in 2022, according to econometric models. This even as the situation remains volatile as country heads to the general election next year. 

Inside the restaurant at Marcia Hotel along Mombasa Road.
Inside the restaurant at Marcia Hotel along Mombasa Road.